Dublin completely exceeded my expectations. From the gorgeous architecture to the rich history, I thoroughly enjoyed my few days in this lovely Irish city. The locals were incredibly friendly and the city was completely walkable which allowed me to see a large chunk of Dublin and find some hidden gems too. The extra bonus was that the city was decked out for Christmas! While the decor didn’t quite compare to the German Christmas Markets (I mean, they are kind of hard to beat!), the streets were full of bright decor and live Christmas music! I am sharing with you my suggestions in case you too decide to visit Dublin in December (or really any time of the year!).
Where I Stayed in Dublin
I stayed at Abigail’s Hostel which was right in the Temple Bar area! It was easy to get to every part of the city that I wanted to see from the hostel and it was very clean. Breakfast was also included which was a really nice bonus! My one complaint is that the hot water was not working for a brief period when I wanted to take a shower but it was quickly fixed.
How I Got Around in Dublin
Dublin is incredibly walkable! Other than getting to and from the airport (via the bus system which is inexpensive and easy to use), I just walked everywhere. This was a fun way to see a lot of the city.
What I Saw & Did in Dublin (The Short Version)
What I Saw & Did in Dublin (In Detail)
The first day, I arrived in the mid morning and took the bus into the city. This dropped me in a perfect location to start exploring and check into my hostel. I wandered through Trinity College where I was able to get a break from the cold while visiting the Book of Kells Museum. The best part of this museum (in my opinion), was the incredible library that was at the end of the exhibit! It was absolutely breathtaking and I wish I could have stayed there for hours.
After walking around the Trinity College area (there are plenty of shops and restaurants in the Grafton Street area which is right next to the college!), I headed to the Temple Bar. This is the lively part of town that is home to plenty of live music and Irish pubs. I made my way across the Ha’penny bridge and did a bit of window shopping on upper and lower O’Connell Street.
On my second day, I started my morning at the Medieval Dublin Castle. I decided to do the guided tour because I was interested in learning more about the history of the building. I definitely recommend taking the guided tour if you are not very familiar with Irish history—you will learn a lot! After spending a bit of time there, I made my way to Christ’s Church Cathedral which was absolutely breathtaking! If you are a fan of old churches like I am, you will love it. Continuing with the religious theme, I visited St. Patrick’s Cathedral which was also lovely. I ended my day at Grafton Street where I grabbed some dinner and did a bit more window shopping.
Dublin Tips & Tricks
If you are a Visa user like me, you do not need to worry about using your card! I was able to use it everywhere I went which was really convenient!
If you take the 16 Bus from the airport (rather than the other buses), it is 3.30 Euro rather than 6 Euro and it takes you to the same spot on O’Connell Street. This is a good way to save a few Euros (although it does take a bit longer)!
Dublin doesn’t have a lot of “Christmas Markets” so definitely don’t come here if you are looking to find Santa. However, the streets are filled with lovely decorations!
In December, the temperature was cool but not freezing. I would recommend bringing rain gear in case!